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Building Information Modeling: Design Instruction by Integration into an Undergraduate Curriculum

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Design Spine

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.278.1 - 25.278.16



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Paper Authors


Kevin P. Arnett P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Kevin Arnett is a first-year instructor at the U.S. Military Academy in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering. He teaches CE404, Design of Steel Structures; CE403, Structural Analysis; and assists with CE492, Civil Engineering Capstone course.

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Craig E. Quadrato U.S. Military Academy

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Building Information Modeling: Design Instruction by Integration Into an Undergraduate CurriculumAbstractBuilding Information Modeling (BIM) developed into a prominent field of knowledge andpractice in the Architect/Engineering/Construction (AEC) profession over the past decade. Asthis field emerged in both academia and industry, increasingly viewed as critical for significantpractice, the state of the art became more clearly defined. As the field matures, the door opensfor the effective integration of BIM at the undergraduate civil engineering program level.Some universities have taken the approach of addressing this new body of knowledge viaseminar sessions, in addition to the standard academic load, while others have addressed the needwith the development of a specific course devoted solely to BIM. The seminar approach evolvedearly when the topic was new. This approach is not as comprehensive and consequently not asdemanding a commitment for both students and faculty alike. The alternative of creating anadditional course adds BIM to the list of compulsory or elective courses and offers theopportunity for in depth learning on the topic. This provides a significant focus on the topic andbuilds on prior knowledge, but requires an additional course load for both students and faculty;the new course results in treatment of BIM as a separate specialty rather than a method toconnect engineering disciplines.A third approach is possible now that time allowed BIM concepts to become more standardizedis to integrate BIM fundamentals throughout the complementary courses in an undergraduatecivil engineering program. Integration creates the advantage of directly linking BIM to work inexisting courses and highlights BIM in its normal state as a condition of the engineeringenvironment rather than a separate subject. And while uniting coursework in a common BIMsoftware platform offers significant advantages from a program perspective, simply usingconsistent BIM concepts in courses may also have a significantly positive effect on theundergraduate experience, specifically in capstone design courses. An initial implementation ofthis integrated approach is presented and evaluated in this paper based on the experiences in thecivil engineering program at the United States Military Academy.

Arnett, K. P., & Quadrato, C. E. (2012, June), Building Information Modeling: Design Instruction by Integration into an Undergraduate Curriculum Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21036

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